The Cedar City Half Marathon is a scenic downhill race that takes runners through spectacular Cedar Canyon in southwest Utah. Held on September 17, 2011, the Cedar City Half is a perfect high-altitude trainer for those preparing for full marathons held a few weeks later, including the Top of Utah and St. George marathons. This course is one of the nation';s fastest.
The race begins at 7:00 am on US-14 at Wood';s Ranch (8200 feet above sea level) approximately 11 miles up Cedar Canyon. The full course has total road closure. The first third of the course is a steady downhill dropping through white sandstone cliffs filled with spectacular fall colors. The NBC today show included Cedar Canyon as one of their Eight Great Fall Foliage Destinations. Mid September is the peak of the fall foliage viewing season. At approximately mile five, the course begins to flatten out some and continues in a more gradual decent - winding its way along the banks of Coal Creek. At mile 10, after passing the Red Hill runners take a soft left turn off of US-14 across the footbridge to the Canyon Trail. A well-maintained, paved running and walking trail lined with willows and shaded by cottonwood trees. The trail continues through the Canyon Park area where runners are greeted by spectators who flank the grass-lined trail. Leaving Canyon Park, competitors transition back on to US-14 for just a moment as they turn right on to Highland Drive and through a neighborhood that sits at the base of the Red Hill. Making an easy left off of Highland the course winds around the Cedar Canyon baseball complex and past the newly-completed Veterans Memorial Park. Runners then head south for a short stint, making their way to 200 S. then north on 100 East for a short downhill stretch past the historic Rock Church and Heritage Center Theatre to the finish line at Main Street Park.